When setting up an XPEnology system, you must first select a DSM platform and version. XPEnology supports a few specific DSM platforms that enable certain hardware and software features. All support a minimum of 4 CPU cores, 64GB of RAM, 10Gbe network cards and 12-disk arrays. When you choose a platform and the desired DSM software version, you must download the correct corresponding loader. That may not be the "newest" loader available.
Each of these combinations can be run "baremetal" as a stand-alone operating system OR as a virtual machine within a hypervisor (VMWare ESXi is most popular and best documented, but other hypervisors can be used if desired). See the decision tree below to understand why you might choose one or the other.
6.x Loaders and Platforms as of 29-Dec-2020
|DSMPlatform||DSM Version|| Jun's|
|NVMeCacheSupport||RAIDF1Support||Oldest CPUSupported||Max CPUThreads||Notes|
|1.04b||UEFI, BIOS/CSM||Yes||Yes||No||Haswell **||8||6.2.0, 6.2.3 ok, 6.2.1/6.2.2 notrecommended for new installs*|
|1.03b||BIOS/CSM only||No||No||Yes||any x86-64||16||6.2.0, 6.2.3 ok, 6.2.1/6.2.2 notrecommended for new installs*|
|1.03b||BIOS/CSM||No||No||Yes||any x86-64||8||6.2.0, 6.2.3 ok, 6.2.1/6.2.2 notrecommended for new installs*|
|DS916+||6.0.3 to 6.1.7||1.02b||UEFI, BIOS/CSM||Yes||No||No||Haswell **||8||obsolete, use DS918+ instead|
|DS3617xs||6.0.3 to 6.1.6||1.02b||UEFI, BIOS/CSM||No||No||Yes||any x86-64||16||6.1.7 may kernel panic on ESXi|
|4||DS3615xs||6.0.3 to 6.1.7||1.02b||UEFI, BIOS/CSM||No||No||Yes||any x86-64||8||best compatibility on 6.1.x|
|DS3615xs||6.0 to 6.0.2||1.01||UEFI, BIOS/CSM||No||No||any x86-64||obsolete|
* 6.2.1 and 6.2.2 have a unique kernel signature causing issues with most kernel driver modules, including those included in the loader. Hardware compatibility is limited.
** Piledriver is believed to be the minimum AMD CPU architecture to support the DS916+ and DS918+ DSM platforms.
*** If you need an MBR version of the boot loader because your system does not support a modern boot methodology, follow this procedure.
CURRENT LOADER/PLATFORM RECOMMENDATIONS/SAMPLE DECISION POINTS:
1. DEFAULT install DS918+ 6.2.3 - also if hardware transcoding or NVMe cache support is desired, or if your system only support UEFI boot
2. ALTERNATE install DS3617xs 6.2.3 - if RAIDF1, 16-thread or best SAS support is desired, or your CPU is too old for DS918+
4. FALLBACK install DS3615xs 6.1.7 - if you can't get anything else to work
SPECIAL NOTE for Intel 8th generation+ (Coffee Lake, Comet Lake, Ice Lake, etc.) motherboards with embedded Intel network controllers:
Each time Intel releases a new chipset, it updates the PCI id for the embedded NIC. This means there is a driver update required to support it, which may or may not be available with an extra.lzma update. Alternatively, disable the onboard NIC and install a compatible PCIe NIC such as the Intel CT gigabit card.
|Loader||Platform||DSM version||Kernel||DSM /dev/dri support||DSM NVMe cache support||Boot method||NIC 6.2.1+||CPU Requirement|
|1.04b||DS918||6.2+||4.4||Yes||Yes||EFI or Legacy BIOS||n/a||Haswell equivalent or later|
|6.2+||3.10||No||No||Legacy BIOS only||Intel (baremetal)|
|Sandy bridge equivalent or later|
|1.02b||DS916||6.0.3 to 6.1.7||3.10||Yes||No||EFI or Legacy BIOS||n/a||Sandy bridge equivalent or later|
|1.02b||DS3615||6.0.3 to 6.1.7||3.10||No||No||EFI or Legacy BIOS||n/a||Sandy bridge equivalent or later|
|1.02b||DS3617||6.0.3 to 6.1.6*||3.10||No||No||EFI or Legacy BIOS||n/a||Sandy bridge equivalent or later|
|6.0 to 6.0.2||3.10||No||No||EFI or Legacy BIOS||n/a||Sandy bridge equivalent or later|
* 6.1.7 on DS3617 is incompatible with ESXi installation
NOTE: Recent reports have indicated that Westmere (Xeon family development from Nehalem) is functional on loader versions prior to 1.04b. That may imply that Nehalem will work everywhere that Sandy Bridge is reported to work, but this is unverified. Note that Synology did not release a 64-bit Nehalem-derived DiskStation, which is why Sandy Bridge was selected as the earliest compatible microarchitecture. If you have a Nehalem chip running any 6.x-compatible loader, please advise.